Lion statue from demolished country house could fetch £30,000 at auction

It is part of a collection being sold by Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

A stone lion
A stone lion

A collection of garden statues rescued from country houses facing demolition is to go under the hammer.

A regal stone lion gargoyle from a huge house near Corsham that was torn down in 1952 is expected to fetch up to £30,000.

The collection is full of treasures bought at a time when large country houses had become dormant and were being demolished following the First World War.

The sale is being run by Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, and will take place on Tuesday September 29.

As cars became a fixture of modern life in the 1920s, a “Mr Perry” had a vision of providing not just petrol and refreshments at his garage, but a “go-to” destination.

He roamed the Cotswolds and the West Country purchasing items and putting them on display at the site in Dodington, Gloucestershire.

Summers Place Auctions collection of garden statues
Staff at Summers Place Auctions prepare a rare Blashfield terracotta figure of Diana de Gabies (Steve Parsons/PA)

Over the years the range of statues, urns and benches evolved into an important and unique collection, according to Summers Place Auctions.

Director James Rylands said: “It’s been many years since a privately formed collection like this has come to the market.

“All the pieces were acquired in what is generally accepted to be the golden era of collecting between the world wars.

“When we held our first sale of garden sculpture 35 years ago, this material was readily available, but now it’s a real treat to see such pieces and we are looking forward to finding new homes for the collection.”

Also among the lots are pairs of Cotswold carved stone seats estimated to fetch between £12,000 and £18,000.

Various marble figures are also available including one of the Greek goddess Hebe from around 1830, which is expected to sell for up to £30,000.

For further information on the auction, visit summersplaceauctions.com.

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